Any parent(s) wishing for their child to be baptised should print out and complete the following form and return it to the Cathedral as soon as possible:
Any parent(s) wishing to have their child baptised should introduce themselves to one of the Clergy at the Cathedral, possibly after Mass. If you have a note with your name and address and telephone number, this would be really helpful (the completed form above would be especially helpful). We will introduce you, again after Mass, to a Parish Catechist who will then ‘befriend you’ during the following weeks and months. If you are a practising catholic family, we will begin to discuss dates after a few weeks, and you will have a few meetings in preparation for the celebration.
If you are an infrequent attender at Mass, we will encourage you to build up this part of your faith, so that the celebration of Baptism will be consistent with the Baptismal promises you will be making. When both the family and the Parish agree that it is now appropriate to celebrate this Sacrament a date will be agreed and several meetings with Catechists will be arranged. After the celebration of Baptism, a certificate will be presented to the family.
Some Information on Baptism
It is the first and necessary stage of Christian initiation. It is the Sacrament by which we share in the redemption offered by Christ, by which we join the community of Faith which is the Church and by which we are incorporated into the life of Christ – the eternal life of the Risen Christ.
Since it is the parents who ask to have their child baptised and who accept the duty and responsibility for the Catholic upbringing of the child, they themselves must express their faith in word and by their Catholic way of life. They should realise the importance of a baptism in the life of the family and prepare for the day by suitable instruction. The priest will normally wish to see both parents to carry out this preparation. The day itself should be one of family happiness marked by the reception of Holy Communion by the parents and other children who are able to receive.
The Rite of Baptism presumes both parents to be taking part in the ceremony, assisted by well chosen godparents, that the child is given a Christian name, i.e. the name of a saint, and that the conferring of this sacrament implies a firm commitment on the part of the parents to a faithful and loyal practice of the faith.
Baptism in case of necessity
- If there is danger of death the priest should be called in; but if there is danger if death before the priests arrival, anyone may baptise
- Pour water on the head and day at the same time: I baptise you (name of child) in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
- Use Holy Water if you have a supply in the house; otherwise use ordinary water from the tap. Pour water on the forehead and let it flow back over the head. Speak the words clearly. If the child recovers, tell the priest that it had a private Baptism.
Registration of Births
Every birth in England or Wales must be registered in the district in which it takes place within 42 days from the date of birth. Information for the registration is given to the local registrar in person by the informant of the birth. There is no charge in registering a birth.
The law regards the mother as the primary informant for the registration, though where the parents are married to one another, either parent can attend to register. However, where the parents are not married, they will usually arrange to attend to register together to sign the Birth register. In cases where this is not possible, advice of alternative procedures can be obtained from the registrar. Although the parents will register the vast majority of birth registrations, in rare circumstances persons who fall into the following categories are possible informants:
- The occupier of the house or hospital where the child was born.
- A person present at the birth
- A person who is responsible for the child.
Most register offices operate an appointment system and it is strongly advised a telephone call be made for advice before attending.